In 1994, George Grant got invited to speak at Covenant College at Lookout Mountain, GA and he invited me to come with him. I readily agreed because I would get to spend time with George (I worked for/with him then) and because I’d get to meet Cal Beisner again, someone I respected a great deal and had only met once or twice before (when he was visiting Coral Ridge when I worked there at CRM for George).
Anyway, to pass the time, George bought a tape player with a couple of plug-in speakers so we could listen to audiotapes of the last Biblical Horizons Conference. That was the first time I had ever heard Jeff Meyers’s voice listening to this lecture on “the Mercersberg Theology.” (I can’t remember if we had the outline or not).
That was the beginning. Later, when I was contacting CTS about attending, the student in charge of recruiting me happened to be a member of the church Jeff pastored. (Since that time, he has been Jeff’s assistant, associate, and now a church-plantier). Those lectures were fresh on my mind and I took it upon myself to tell this guy what a bright pastor he had. I was not sure I was going to attend Covenant. In fact, enquiring there was rather an afterthought. But the next thing I know Jeff has called me up (I think he had seen my name in association with World Magazine–I actually even wrote a couple of feature articles back in the first half of the nineties) and really tried to talk me into Covenant. He succeeded, in part because, at Providence, I realized one gets a great deal of pastoral attention as a seminary student. It is almost like having an training institute in addition to the seminary.
So, those lectures ended up changing the course of my life, when you think about it. And that seems appropriate because they are very good. Of course, their not quite is important as they used to be. At the time, Jeff was, as far as I can tell, the only Reformed Evangelical pastor doing anything with Mercersberg. Keith Mathison and Robert Letham (“Nevin was right and … Hodge … failed to grasp his own theological tradition”) changed that slightly. But only the Hart book gave us another study that really concentrated on what Mercersberg was about. What is good about this is that I don’t see any evidence (yet) that Hart was aware of Jeff’s work, and yet they compare rather well. I think this is good evidence that their position is what an informed Reformed Evangelical will come to think about Nevin and his value to us.